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  1. Today
  2. Regarding cable length. Comtek recommends headphones with a 36” cable for better radio reception since the headphone cable is used as an antenna. Maybe that was specific to the 72-76 units though. Doc is there a particular reason you chose the length you did for the scene monitors? Just curious.
  3. Hello, I add one for the Halter Technica SM2 (scene monitor v2). They are light and strong, very easy to forget once you wear them, unlike the Sony ZX110 that I find too big and too hot in hot weather. The SM2 despite their size are nicely closed and give enough isolation from outside noise. Easy to pack as well. Sound wise they are good enough for the IFBlue receivers I use. Also they are really good looking!! The director I usually give an HD25 but I must say that I had some directors asking for the HT SM2 when they see the rest of the crew with them 😆. When the demands exceed my current amount of HT SM2 I also have some Koss Porta Pro, which are surprisingly good sounding despite - or with the advantage of- 😉 a very vintage look. I used them for years before moving to the HT.
  4. Yesterday
  5. Another vote for the Sony ZX110s. They're cheap enough that they're almost disposable, which is how many crew/clients tend to treat Comteks/IFBs in general. I use Comtek 216s, and the sound quality of the Sonys is a good match. Honestly, I don't want anyone outside of sound/VTR listening to full fidelity on set. Experienced directors and producers already know that they'll just hear the sausage being made, and inexperienced people will second-guess and micromanage you with every perceived audio flaw.
  6. Another vote for the Sony ZX110, especially if you are divvying out 10+ sets a job. Quality to Price ratio is hard to beat. I haven't tried the HTs but am tempted to give those a whirl once my curretn ZX110 need replacement.
  7. I have been exclusively using a kortwich bag with only a waist belt for years and i can’t imagine putting on a harness again. This belt has 4x 2” clips on it. The nice thing about the clips is i can keep the belt at the right adjustment and just clip / unclip. I leave 1 side attached to the bag and swing it around me so it’s only 2 clips. Using carabiners i was always annoyed having to loosen and tighten the straps before/after attaching. I also felt like they let the bag move around too much and it wasn’t as stable.
  8. For narrative I keep a Schoeps DMS rig in a Cinella Pianissimo. Cmc4 for the center, ccm8 side, ccm4 for the rear, recorded on a mixpre6. It sounds killer and is really flexible. I mostly end up using it for pfx work, cars etc. I try to identify the vehicles that play a character in the script, or have a unique sound that will be hard to design from stock libraries, and then coordinate with production to get half an hour with a driver to get as much as i can. Most of the time i don’t bother trying to get ambience, it’s almost impossible to get far enough away to get a clean bed when recording 360. That being said I’ve done a couple shows in the woods and have been able to run the mic out on a tripod and drop it in between setups and get some really good stuff. A recent project we spent 5 weeks in the forest filming and i was really happy with some of the ambience i got. It comes out on Netflix later this year, I’m really excited to hear how it came together.
  9. To be fair, even if you give them high quality ones it is still hard to get people to pay attention to that.... I purchased one of these recently to give it a spin, I really like it, especially for the price. It's a good alternative to the Sony MDR-7506. Perhaps the only thing I don't like about it, is I wish the cable was slightly longer. (not by much, just one more foot longer). Because if the person is tall-ish, such as myself, then the cable is slightly too short and always at risk of popping loose! Especially if you mounted it anywhere else than on your hip. As you've got zero margin of error. Putting it into a waist belt bag? Uh oh, that's an extra inch or two lower, odds of the connector unplugging just doubled. Want to swap the receiver from left side to right side, or have it mounted at the back? Nope, can't reach that far. Want to put it in your pocket?? Forget about it!! No chance the cable will reach it securely, as you won't be able to move your head freely because the cable is too short. Or what if you wish to run the cable under your clothes then at the bottom come back up to put it into the jacket pocket? Again, not possible, because you're too tall and the cable is too short. Anyway, that's just an observation I've had for people my size or similar / taller. If you're nowhere near it, such as if you're under six foot, you'll be perfectly fine with no issues. I'm definitely being nitpicky, and am an edge case, which reminds me, I should buy a short 1ft cable so I can have more flexibility when using it. For everyone else though it's perfectly fine. Maybe the perfect length that's a happy middle would be to make the HT Elite Monitors / HT Scene Monitors the same length as Walkie Talkies manufactures make their cables for earpieces? (as they're a well established piece of equipment, used by millions of people, clearly that's a well tested length on a wide variety of human bodies over the decades) It seems like their usual length is 4ft / 120cm? (although the length isn't completely standardized, but it's the most common length) That's merely half a foot extra than HT Monitors are already. In my biased opinion of course I'd prefer a full foot longer, as even Walkie Talkies I can find to be slightly limiting sometimes (I might for instance find them to be slightly shorter than I'd like if I'm mounting them to my mixing bag), but that's just the downsides to being "tall".
  10. I gave the HT a try on Sennheiser EK300. Unfortunately they will pronounce the noise floor more than others. It’s very tricky with the Sennheisers to find a good balance between cost and noise floor. A professional headphone (7506 or HD25) is pretty quiet on the Sennheiser. The best cheap option sound wise so far were the Sony ZX110.
  11. The original Scene Monitor was released in 2018. The current generation was released at the end of 2020, with the earpads getting a revision around 2022. Feedback and feature requests have driven all of the improvements and keep pushing development forward. I know that sounds like typical marketing-speak, but I know you all understand what this community means to me.
  12. Hey Doc are there different revisions of the scene monitor? Or is it the same since you first released them?
  13. Yeah, that's pretty much exactly my experience. The best luck I've had was on a documentary in a remote location, and we were able to designate "ambience recording" time slotted in whenever camera was shooting B-Roll. We would coordinate to be close but far enough away that I couldn't hear them (>1 km most of the time), and I had several blocks lasting an hour or more to find interesting ambiences. This past weekend, I was hired as "swing" crew to help out when camera needed me, and the rest of the time I was able to move around the location independently and find what I needed. I had the better part of a day and a half to myself. I didn't get everything we wanted because we were filming in a resort town and the more "pristine" ambiences that we wanted simply didn't exist. But we definitely got a decent amount of usable recordings. I'm very curious to find out how much post ends up using. In both cases, I had support and a rough wish list from post. I'd say less than 10% of my clients are organized enough (or well funded enough) to take advantage of it, but I'm getting better at making clear how and when it can be done. I've also managed to get some very unique ambience recordings on an arctic documentary where I was able to record away from camp a little bit. That one was difficult because I required a guide to escort me for safety when I was out of visual range of camp (and when I was in visual range, I could hear the camp).
  14. Your experience trying to get clean wide-angle or surround ambiances while doing production sound on an indie movie is pretty much how it always went for me. The locations were almost never suitable for this kind of recording at any time of day, and certainly not when the rest of the crew was there. For this to really work there has to be some sort of buy-in and support from production (and post, if they have been hired while you are still shooting). There are some useful ambiances and sfx you might could get after the rest of the crew has left a location, but on a union job your extra work has to follow the contracted work rules and hours. On non-union indies I spent a lot of free time trying to get extra sound after hours but would have to admit that we often weren't very successful. If there are specific requests from post then you can take those to production and get yourself on the official shooting schedule. Doing this will get you AD Dept support and maybe even grip assistance as well. That's the best way to do it and get what post actually wants.
  15. Last week
  16. I would love it if you would give Halter Technical headphones a try and see if they are right for you and your work. Let me tell you a little bit about them. The HT Scene Monitor was built for video village. It features an ultralightweight design, with earcups that swivel flat for storage. Up to ten can be stored in a Lectrosonics pouch. The earpads are made from a comfortable leatherette, and unlike foam pads won't disintegrate or hold sweat or other moisture. The earpads are also easily replaceable, without having to smash your thumbs in to do so. The Scene Monitor has a single-sided cable that is 3.5 feet long (perfect to go to a beltpack without having to stuff extra cable in a pocket). Access to the drivers is simple, so replacing a cable or modifying the headphone for a mono signal is quick and easy. It is incredibly affordable at $18 US each, or you can buy a 10-Pack of them for $150 US. The HT Elite Monitor was built for the Directors, Execs, or anyone else who prefers something a little more substantial to listen with. It has a very comfortable plush headband, with earpads to match. The 3.5 foot single-sided cable is incredibly durable, as you'll typically find me swinging the headphone over my head at demos. The 40mm drivers feature a frequency response curve extremely similar to the Sony MDR-7506. They're even a matte color so that if the Director is hovering over the actors, the headphones would cast a glare. The whole headphone folds down for easy storage. You can purchase the Elite Monitor for the insane price of $25 US. Want to see them in action? Check out the trailer for Stranger Things Season 5 that Netflix just shared today and you'll see the Duffer Brothers using the Elite Monitor to help them direct the newest season: These headphones are priced low enough that production can purchase them along with their expendables. They do cost less than a roll of gaff tape, after all! They're sold directly on the haltertechnical.com website, or wherever you purchase professional production sound equipment. Halter Technical headphones were designed and build specifically for production use. I hope you'll give us a chance to see if our products are right for you.
  17. All that tracks with my experience. I was doing mainly exterior ambience with no obvious directionality, and I think I would have been better served with 2x ORTF, or perhaps the IRT cross for what I was doing. I'm very keen to set a double MS setup going, because I think that would be most practical for me to carry with me on regular shoots. What mics / wind protection were you using? I wish I could find a rig that would accommodate my all my MKH mics, because heavy as they are, they are quiet and bulletproof. I might have to consider jumping to the 8000 series now that the 8030 exists. I've also heard a DMS setup for a guitar-playing singer-songwriter type setup, and I absolutely loved what that sounded like. Interesting thought about using lavs as spaced omnis. I hadn't thought about that for ambience, though I've considered doing it for music / choral. The downside for me is I don't have the capability to run them all hardwired, and I'm using Zax wireless, which makes me hesitate to use them for music because I lose the half octave above 16K at the top. It probably doesn't matter for casual usage, but I'd prefer not to be in that situation for professional recordings.
  18. I have done a lot of DMS surround recording and often really like the results. It’s especially suited for interior ambience and close micing like moving trains etc. I recently got the chance to do a steam locomotive which was really fun! For nature ambiences i usually find coincident techniques to be too close together. The whole surround image ends up small and doesn’t feel very immersive. Wider spaced techniques have more feeling imo. A double ORTF or similar in a single rig creates a nice large envelope without having a hole in the center. You can add a spot mic for the center for locations that have a distinct feature like a stream in the foreground. Also great for passby’s like motor sports. I’ve also been really happy with spaced omni’s for forest recordings. Even 5 DPA 4060 can get a great, wide, and immersive recording. And it makes wind pro easy since each mic can have its own zeplin / fur. For monitoring i listen to pairs. F stereo, R stereo, spot check. Doing a lot of ambisonics work i played with doing surround mix downs with hrtf’s to try and replicate the surround monitoring and it never worked for me. Listened to the pairs translated the best and helped me identify any issues that came up. One thing I’ve found is the left right relationship is very important, but the front back relationship is much less so. So i see no problem having different mics on the surrounds. Of course your experience could end up very different than mine, and the environment you are in could change everything.
  19. I used to use JVC flats (HAS160) ... wish I could still find them. They were the best compromise I've seen for durability, price, compactness, and audio quality. The swivelling earpieces were great for both size and comfort. Could get them for CAD$25 until they were discontinued.
  20. Just so folks here know, if anyone else has a problem beyond their warranty period I've just listed my existing spare MZX up for sale on WTB-WTS Jez
  21. Here are the Cicada SO-D14 and Sommer’s thin star quad SC-CICADA 4 side by side. The quad is only 3.4 mm in diameter and weighs 20 g/m vs. 13 g/m for the SO-D14.
  22. I have a bunch of < $20 Phillips that i really like, but i can’t find them anymore. The new version has a thin metal band instead of plastic and hair gets caught in it too much. They sound great for their price. I bought a bunch of the Hamilton Buhl, but had a lot of them break so i felt they were too fragile. I’ve been slowly replacing them with Halter Tech.
  23. What about the sound quality? Years ago I tested many cheap headphones and they all sounded like absolute crap. The $35 Comtek LS-3 mono headsets sound fantastic. Are these cheap ones coming close to the sound quality of the LS-3s? I found it pretty hard to talk about background noises when people were listening to cans that sucked.
  24. Yeah I figured that was probably the case. Or maybe Hamiltonbuhl designed them and had them made to their spec and other production lines copied it. We just don’t really know.
  25. Those too would just be something HamiltonBuhl has got from a factory in China with their own label added to it. I buy these exact same headphones from Aliexpress (with no branding at all) for about NZ$5 each (about US$3), and I know if you're buying in bulk (much greater quantities than I get it! But if you're a big AV rental company for instance) then they're only fifty cents NZD each.
  26. Sony MDR ZX110. Folds up nice and small for stacking in a case with IFBs
  27. @LDstudios more compact than dual receivers = lower weight. With the 54 I can eke out more channels without bringing out an RF distro. range is honestly phenomenal. And here in Canada I can make use of the MTP60s record/transmit function. After two years working with symphony wireless on location I can definitely recommend!
  28. Panasonic RP-HT21 (open back), also under $10.. they sound good and hold up to typical abuse.
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